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ironfroggy

Call to porters for Linux/SDL

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I''m going to start a Linux/SDL/OpenGL website and to start I want to rewrite the NeHe tutorials for SDL. I''m going to start with the ones already ported to SDL and just write tutorials for them, and perhaps a small bit of modification to the code where I see needed. But eventually I will run into where I need to start porting the code, too. I was hoping I could get some help from anyone in this. So, if you could port any NeHe (or any OpenGL tutorial in general) to Linux/SDL and send them to me, it would be a great help. Credit will be given of course. Any other contributions would be very welcome, as well. :-)

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Are you capable of porting the code yourself? If not, then what qualifies you to write tutorials on the subject?

Pardon my frank bluntness, but a major problem of the online amateur software development community (particularly game development) is misinformation - often well-meaning, but simply not sufficiently competent to address the issues they attempt to.

No offense intended, but there''s also something wrong (IMNSHO) with advertising a non-existent product. In software it''s called vapor; in other industries it''s called either marketing or fraud, depending on what you claim about it. Why mention that you are going to start a site? Why not start a site - even with just one or two tutorials and ported code - and then announce a call for porters/contributors? A key to successful Open Source and derivative software engineering methodology-based projects is to issue the first announcement with a first download. Failure to adhere to this (please read Eric Raymond''s essays on the subject; Google for The Cathedral and the Bazaar) was the downfall of Indrema - a project that actually involved significant amounts of venture capital - as well as countless nameless Open Source projects. Sourceforge is littered with their carcasses, one or two even belong to me.

Your intentions are noble and good, and I applaud that, but your execution is flawed. Deciding not to announce anything whatsoever until you have a demonstrable product can often serve to codify the abstract nature of inspiration.

Once again, no offense intended.

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Guest Anonymous Poster
While I agree with your general point, I''d like to add that Indrema''s problem was mostly getting cash flow, in that they *had* to announce it and hype it to make it known so the VCs would see that it was actually getting known. If it hadn''t been, they''d have said it wasn''t, and not given money (or less). Sad. Of course, it doesn''t invalidate your argument, I just wanted to complement it.

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quote:
Original post by Anonymous Poster
While I agree with your general point, I''d like to add that Indrema''s problem was mostly getting cash flow, in that they *had* to announce it and hype it to make it known so the VCs would see that it was actually getting known. If it hadn''t been, they''d have said it wasn''t, and not given money (or less). Sad. Of course, it doesn''t invalidate your argument, I just wanted to complement it.

Interesting opinion. I disagree, though. I think that Indrema''s core problem was creating publicity without a demonstrable product, so they attracted a bunch of would-be developers who started asking questions about features, started making feature requests - all of which were a strain on customer services/developer relations and costing them money - while the platform specs were not even finalized. John and crew thought they could develop the Indrema purely using venture capital, but for such an unproven venture a significant amount of personal investment is necessary. VCs are not interested in your technological vision; they''re interested in making money, and if you can''t clearly show them a path to profit then you''ll lose your funding - much like the rest of the dotcom bubble that burst right about then.

In retrospect (useless in that specific case, since hindsight is always 20/20) Indrema should have knocked out the specs and build a huge, ugly, inefficient but functional prototype first, and then sought VCs. Once the product reached the public demo stage (there''ll still be months of QA, bug-fixing and so forth) then announce the developer program and start to build hype with consumers. Instead, all that came out of Indrema was a spec sheet, forums consisting largely of flames, a cheesy "top 10 reasons to skip a PS2 and buy an Indrema" list and a supposed prototype running Tux Racer - supposed because very few people actually ever saw it.

Look at all the successful public cooperative efforts in software development (there are none in hardware): Linux, the *BSDs, GNU... They all started with something functional being released to potential developers, without exception.

''Nuff said.

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It doesn''t matter anymore. I''m changing it and just doing the tutorials and code myself. NeHe''s lessons are two drawn out. Of course, I still want to cover all the things he does, but I''ve fit it into 2/3''s the number of tutorials. Well, back to work on them...

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Guest Anonymous Poster
Well, you have a fair point

You cite a number of examples, but how many of them failed ?
When you try to start a business, I suppose you don''t say to
yourself "well, there''s a chance out of 100 it will work",
you just try and get all opportunities that could help you
make it work. But I see your point, and somewhat agree.

Besides, weren''t they going to build hardware ? That''s a bit
more difficult to do this in your own backyard and then show
it off. Granted, they were going (AFAIK) to use components
widely available and not custom made, but it''s still another
thing than just slapping some code together and FTP it away
for others to look at.

To finish, not everyone can take months off without pay and
work the whole day for something that you think might make
money, but only when you decide it''s ready to show to people
who are known to be hard to convince your project is worth
putting money into.

But I see your point, and more or less agree, though I still
think they somehow had to publicize their stuff. If only to
prove VCs that some people, at least, would be interested in
the results.

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AP:
I think I concur completely with your analysis. Hardware is a whole different ballgame.

ironfroggy:
I apologize for derailing your thread. I think the site and tutorials are a good idea; I was merely saying your probably would have had a whole lot more responses if you already had some done. How about you start a new thread when you''ve done, say, the first 5 or 6 tutorials? I''ll keep an eye out for that.

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